Skip to main content

   I believe that everyone would have seen some movies right? like, Hollywood movies, super heroes movies, action movies, and so on. Many times, those movies would have some extraordinary scenes that you might have seen once in books, games or something but sometimes you might not get it in some movies that you aren’t familiar with due to some forces of cultures, or some personal interests and consents. I was the one who loved watching movies but sometimes many movies are very specific to their target group to their fans. Sometimes, it makes me very tired to prepare for watching those movies but I still I want to understand the story even if those stories are not what I am familiar with. So, I wonder “has anyone is questioning whether the media is leading us to see what they want us to see or if we can choose to not watch it or change it in the same way of our consent”.

 “Today’s films mostly are aiming for making profits, not for making prizes or awards.

Those movies frequently have their origins from comics, novels, classic movies, toys, and games; every factor is controlled by a variety of cultures in society. When these factors were made into movies, it was inevitable to have something special such as, special scenes, special characters in movies for their audience which we called “Fanservice”. Because movies we’ve seen at this time are often sequel movies, prequel movies, or based on movies. So, we might see many kinds of fanservice quite often in many films. It is a very essential matter in this kind of movie because it already has its own target group which is a “fan”, movie fans, game fans, comic fans, or book fans.

  A few examples of fully fanserviced movies like the STAR WARS series “The mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett”, which were made to serve every generation of Star Wars fans since the original Star Wars trilogy. They are not only bringing the old Star Wars characters back on the screen but many scenes and many elements of what Star Wars fans desire to see it on action again.

Or even the MARVEL movies and TV series that I would say if you haven’t seen or followed marvel’s movies, you might not understand the whole story because They didn’t service their fans just only one or two scenes but fanservice is everywhere in marvel movies. Since the MARVEL comics have been with us for over 80 years, many generations of fans have been wishing to see their childhood dreams in live-action once.   However, having plenty of fanservice like Star Wars and Marvel doesn’t mean that every movie can do the same. Nowadays, the society is manipulating the film industry to produce media as they want to see. When people are now an active audience, the media, especially the film industry, is no longer as powerful as before. People are now seeking more alternatives media to consume, so it is very important to put something special as “fanservice” to gain more impression and more attention as much as they can not only just to serve for the fans but the normal audience as well. But sometimes, having too much fanservice in the movies could turn out to be a discharge to their audience.

Too much fanservice can make people who are not a fan feel like they don’t belong here.

As in the case of Fantastic Beasts the crime of Grindelwald, the movie that put so much detail based on the novels until some audience who are not a wizarding world fandom questioned about many points in film which were answered by Harry Potter fans that you haven’t read a Harry Potter books, so you won’t get it. Or in the same issue of Justice League Snyder’s cut, the superhero movie that is available on streaming platforms on HBO. After it was released, the feedback was divided into many views. Some DC comics fans kinda love it but for those who do not, they really hate it. One of the factors that make many people hate Justice League is not just only the movie was very long and unattractive but for people who are not DC comics fans do not understand the story and those fanservice scenes. Many easter eggs have been put in to serve their fans for sure, but regardless of the normal audience. And as the same, DC fans told people who don’t understand that You would have read comics, so you could understand it. Two recent examples above show us “how powerful the audience can affect the media”. As I said, the film industry, especially Hollywood films, is about pure business, so serving only the fans cannot help those movies achieve success. 

Another example that shows how powerful the audience can affect the media, what they can do to pull the media in their way. The Ghostbusters (2016), the return of one of the most popular films set since 1984 but this time, they come in a female version. In a normal audience’s perspective, Ghostbuster isn’t that bad as many people expected it to be, the story has done positive, sophisticated, funny, well-casted, and addictive but the reason why Ghostbusters (2016) did not succeed is lack of importance to the old Ghostbusters films. The movie did not mention so much about the old story, also a few old characters’ appearances terribly hurt the original movie fans so much. Later, the studio announced they would make a new version of Ghostbusters to make it up for the fans again. This time, they’re fully serving the original film fans, easter eggs, equipment, old characters, and even the footage from the original film by all of these was made easy to understand for those who’re not a Ghostbusters fan as well in “Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021)”.

  fanservice does not happen just only in the particular movie or particular fandom but it also used in a variety of cultures in many countries

Shang-Chi (2021)

different countries have different agendas and consents. When a movie business is aiming to reach the target in those cultures or countries, it is inevitable to service or put some essential material to impact on that country. As Shang-Chi (2021), the first MARVEL Chinese superhero movie, was aimed to the Chinese movie market; Shang-Chi has put a lot of elements that we could sense into Chinese culture, myth or legend about dragon, costumes, cities, and also language (Chinese language has put in this movie for over 30 percent of the conversation). It seems to be a great fan service to Chinese people to see Chinese superheroes on the big screen throughout many countries but Shang-Chi has gravely failed in the Chinese movie market. Due to Shang-Chi (2021) based on MARVEL comics, his first appearance was in 1973. At that time, many media expressed the asian characteristic in a very straight way, as MARVEL comics images Shang-Chi to be a Chinese superhero, it was designed to visualize Asian as a yellow skinned, narrowed eyes, and straight mustache extending from under the nose past the corners of the mouth, especially in Doctor Fu Manchu who designed as a parody Chinese people in American’s view; It is quite stereotyping of Chinese people’s characteristics towards the world, even though it passed over decades but Chinese people never forget what MARVEL done to them. Another factor why Shang-Chi is terribly unsuccessful in China is also the cast of the film. Many Chinese argued that the cast of Shang-Chi, Simu Liu and Awkwafina, is not suitable for their roles. Chinese people think Simu Liu is unacceptable for playing Shang-Chi characters due to Liu is a Canadian Chinese actor, not pure Chinese. Also, Awkwafina was criticized for her role as Katy that she’s not beautiful enough for playing a leading actress. It seems like American culture is way too far from Chinese, while American filmmakers are aiming for a realistic viewpoint on the characters, but Chinese are seeking for beauty (beauty standard) and nationalism leading to casting the characters. Apparently, fanservice doesn’t work in this way only to serve fans in the particular group of people but in reality, everybody can respond and decide how their media is going to be. Also, fanservice should not be considered to serve its target group, culture is also an indicator of how much fanservice can serve the people in their way.

It is kind of a sensitive issue to have fanservice in movies because it’s not easy to serve fans together to pay attention to the audience who are not fans as well. Fanservice is not just to serve a particular group of fandom, remember an active audience no longer receives what the media has put out to see. Nowadays, people can act as a compass to direct the media to go in the way of their perceptions. So, fanservice rather working to genuinely serve their audience than leading the society to thinking in the same way.

Leave a Reply